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Through an examination of archival materials and decisions of the Philippine Supreme Court, this article documents and analyzes the history of citizenship laws and jurisprudence in the Philippines from the close of the nineteenth century to the immediate postwar period. It demonstrates that the articulation between race and nation, mediated by citizenship, varied according to historical and geopolitical contexts, which informed citizenship debates, policies, and interpretations of legal texts. The short-lived 1899 Malolos Constitution offered an inclusive principle of jus soli, but it was superseded by the concept of Philippine citizenship enunciated in the 1902 Philippine Bill. Emblematic of contradictions within the U. S. imperial apparatus, the same legal framework that was used to exclude Filipinos from U. S. citizenship provided the means for individuals of Chinese or part-Chinese parentage to be granted Philippine citizenship based on jus soli starting in 1911, a direction the U. S. State Department began to oppose in 1920. The Commonwealth period and the crafting of the 1935 Philippine Constitution gave ascendancy to the principle of jus sanguinis, but only after the formal end of U. S. rule did the Supreme Court reverse its stance on jus soli in favor of a myth of descent.